How to Propagate a Wandering Jew plant (Tradescantia)

In this post, we will guide you through the whole process of propagating your Wandering Jew plant, from the tools and equipment needed, to a detailed step by step method and how to solve common problems.

We are in love with Wandering Jew plants not only because they are fast growers, but because of their incredible colourful leaves that make them stand out in a room full of green. Luckily for plant parents, they are also one of the easiest houseplants we have ever propagated so you shouldn’t have too many issues. 

In this post, we will guide you through the whole process, from the tools and equipment needed, to a detailed step by step method and how to solve common problems.

Tools and equipment you will need to propagate

Let’s start off with the easy part. It’s important to make sure you have all the things you need before taking that first cutting.

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    Healthy and mature Wandering Jew plant 

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    Clean, sharp scissors/shears

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    Spare pot(s) with and without drainage holes

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    Fresh soil and water

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    Newspaper or plastic sheet (if you’re propagating indoors)

Propagating your Wandering Jew Plant

What methods can I use to propagate my Wandering Jew plant?

The main method is through stem cuttings. Although you can also do it through division of the mother plant, there really is not much point as stem cuttings is such a simple and successful method. 

Below you’ll find a step by step method of how to propagate your plant through stem cuttings.

How to propagate a Wandering Jew using stem cuttings

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    Locate a healthy vine

    Ideally, you want to locate a stem that has several healthy nodes and leaves. A node is the joint in the stem where the leaves grow out from. This is also where the roots will grow from once in water.

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    Make the cut(s)

    Make sure to include several nodes in each section of cutting as it’ll mean root growth will be much quicker. How many cuttings you take, and exactly how long each one is, is entirely up to you!

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    Fill up a container with fresh temperature water 

    Next, you want to fill up a glass with fresh water to place your Wandering Jew cuttings into. Avoid hot or cold water as you don’t want to shock or burn the cuttings as they are quite sensitive having just been removed from the mother plant. We like to use a transparent container so we can see the roots growing and it allows us to spot any issues early. 

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    Place your cuttings in water

    Make sure that the nodes on your vine cutting are sat in the water so that the roots will start to grow out from them. Remove any lower leaves that might be sat in the water as they will very quickly rot. Place your glass in bright but indirect sunlight making sure it doesn’t receive any direct sunlight which can burn the young cutting. 

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    Change out the water regularly 

    One of the most important steps in the Wandering Jew propagation process is to switch out the water in your glass every couple of days. This keeps the water free from bacteria and stops it from stagnating which is harmful to your cutting.

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    Be patient 

    Luckily, you don’t have to be too patient with Wandering Jew cuttings as they grow roots sometimes within a day or two of being in the water. Soon enough you’ll see a real web of small delicate white roots shoot out from your cutting. 

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    Plant your cuttings into potting mix

    Once the roots on your cutting are a few inches long, it’s time to pot them into soil! We recommend using a high-quality potting mix to make sure your cuttings are getting enough nutrients. 

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    Resume usual Wandering Jew care

    For the first few weeks of your cuttings living in potting mix, we recommend keeping the soil a little more moist than you usually would as the cuttings are used to living in water. 

How to propagate a Wandering Jew plant

Wandering Jew Propagation Frequently Asked Questions

The best time to propagate your Wandering Jew plant is during spring and summer as the warm sunny months will help speed up root growth. 

Grow lights are great to use when propagating in medium and low light levels. They will prevent issues such as leggy and stagnant growth throughout the year, on new cuttings as well as mature houseplants, making them a great investment for plant parents.

A node is where the stem and leaf joints meet. It’s also where the roots will grow from when in water.

Unfortunately, as with most houseplants, it’s not possible to propagate a Wandering Jew plant from just one single leaf. If attempted, it will wilt and die pretty quickly. 

Propagating a Wandering Jew Plant can be easy!

Common problems when propagating a Wandering Jew plant

Below we have all the main problems you may face when propagating your Wandering Jew so you can figure out what is causing these problems to arise and hopefully solve them before it kills your plant cuttings.

You should start to see roots growing on your Wandering Jew plant after just a few days/ one week. They are one of the quickest plants to grow roots but it can still be quite unpredictable so as long as your cutting looks healthy, be patient and you should start to see some roots growing soon. 

If after a couple of weeks, there are still no roots you should assess the environment to decide if you need to use rooting gel, an LED grow light or heat pad to encourage some roots to grow.

If your cutting has gone soft then unfortunately this isn’t a good sign at all. It’s usually caused by your cutting rotting in stagnant water.

Great news that your Wandering Jew cutting is growing new leaves! Don’t worry at all if they are smaller than that of the mother plant, it’s normal and is just caused by the root system being much smaller which means it can’t support the same level of growth. Give it time and slowly the new leaves will start to get bigger.

Yellow leaves are caused by watering issues, either too much or too little. The best way to determine which is by inspecting the root system to see if it’s dry or mushy. 

If your cutting is turning yellow whilst in water then it may be caused by stagnant water or too much of the cutting being submerged.

Whilst you can also propagate through division, stem cuttings is the best method and the only one we recommend as it couldn’t be simpler. Now that you are equipped with the right method, care instructions and top tips, your propagation should go off without a hitch! 

Check out our full Wandering Jew care guide to find all the information on how to continue to care for your cuttings once they have matured.

Written by Joanna Turner

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